‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Review – Is Marvel in its Flop Era?

WARNING: this article contains spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder

On Friday, I made the questionable decision to sit through Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) and be madly disappointed by what was unfurling in front of my eyes.  

Before you yell at me or rage-click away from this article, I’m a Marvel fan, and Thor’s series of films are amongst my favourites. No, it’s not just because of Chris Hemsworth’s godly body (although who could blame me). Taika Waititi is my favourite director, and I hold Thor: Ragnarok (2017) in the fondest place of my heart. And as much as it pains me to say it, Thor: Love and Thunder just didn’t do it for me. 

Right off the bat, the film started off rushed and forced, which was a continual occurrence as the story progressed. Gorr the God Butcher’s (Christian Bale) backstory had me staring at the screen thinking: did that really just happen? It left me with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I realised Thor: Love and Thunder was about to be another disappointment, just like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). Gorr’s story was sped through, and before I knew it, he was murdering a god and turning into a Voldemort look-alike.  

The rushed story lines and subplots led to a complete lack of character development. I couldn’t empathise or feel for the characters like previous Marvel films had executed so well. Jane Foster’s (Natalie Portman) ascendance to ‘Mighty Thor’ and battle with stage 4 cancer is skimmed across at a surface level and is never explored deeply. I know Marvel likes to keep their themes on the lighter side, but if they want to include serious illnesses, it needs to be depicted in a far more sensitive and genuine way. I’m a massive crier when it comes to films, and I didn’t shed a single tear when she tragically passed. Honestly, I didn’t feel sad at all.  

Also, how tf did she suddenly become Mighty Thor? I feel like I blinked, and Jane was in a suit with Mjölnir (Thor’s original hammer), fighting like a god. If shock factor is what Marvel was going for, that’s not what they served.  

As much as I’m a sucker for Waititi’s comedy, the number of jokes in Thor: Love and Thunder irked me. I expected better from him, to be honest. It felt like Thor: Ragnarok on steroids but also a cheaper knock-off version at the same time. I love a laugh, but there’s a line, and Waititi flew past it at rocket-speed. The main plot was lost in the sheer number of jokes, making the film messy and flawed. One of the jokes that annoyed me the most was Zeus’ constant obsession with his ‘hero orgy’. What is this, The Boys?  

The screaming goats were another aspect that started to drive me insane. I’ll admit, it was funny at first. But the screaming became almost unbearable. I imagine Waititi and the writers watched the Taylor Swift goat parody of ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ and thought they struck comedic gold. Come on guys, let’s keep the goats in 2013. 

Marvel is trying to pump out as many movies as they can at a rapid rate, and it’s showing. Marvel’s recent movies since Avengers: Endgame (2019) have lacked depth, story, and character development. I went in excited and with an open mind, only to be tremendously disappointed. I really wanted to like Thor: Love and Thunder, but I simply couldn’t.  

I’ve been a negative-nancy this whole review, so I will stress that not all of this film was awful. Marvel never fails to execute amazing cinematography, and Thor: Love and Thunder was no different. The set designs and mise-en-scene and costumes were stunning, and I will always be impressed by what comes out of these departments in every film they release. 

Nevertheless, Marvel is entering its flop era. I don’t know how much more Marvel disappointment my heart can take, but I’m hoping they get their act together before their reputation is ruined by their recent shallow releases. 

Article written by Alyssa Forato (@alyssa.forato) 

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

Sign up for Catalyst Magazine

Get the latest on what's happening
* = required field